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Anecdotal Records

Debbie at Rainbows Within Reach is having an organize your classroom linky party!  If you are wanting to get organized this summer, you will want to join in the fun!  All kinds of organization will be represented.  My organizational topic is anecdotal records.  :)

Anecdotal records...written records on how students are doing, notes on student progress or areas of weakness.  So valuable to me as a teacher on many levels.  I like to keep records on my students and how they are applying the skills they are being taught each week.  I want to know what they know and how they use their skills.  It also is a valuable tool when parents come in for conferences...especially when they just drop by and you have no chance to pull your thoughts together on that student -those are always a bit tough to be able to speak specifically about that student if you have been caught by a drop-in parent.  :)  But with my anecdotal record keeping, I am prepared for this and can demonstrate to parents exactly what their child is doing and when.  Also, very good for lesson planning too.  Here is my anecdotal notebook.  Love the blue!  My favorite color- I like it when I can find things to use that are more just plain.

Inside this notebook are several tools that help me stay organized to be sure I take weekly records on each student. I have laminated file folders where I stick colored labels with each student's initials. These are grouped according to grade since I service K-5th grades. I chose colored labels so the labels would stand out against the white paper they will be placed on later.  I place one colored label for each student on the laminated file folder.  I group the grades K-1, 2-3, and 4-5 so as not to have so many folders to carry in my notebook.  As I take notes on the students, I take off their label and place it on their own individual anecdotal record sheet.  The labels come off easily from the laminated folder.  When there is no sticker for that student, I know that I have taken records for that student that week (shown in this next photo-spaces without labels).  Helps me to be sure I get written notes on every student each week.

Besides my weekly anecdotal notes, I also like to keep running records all year on my students that are in first and second grades.  I will also keep running records on third grade students at the beginning of the year.  I have pulled these out before to show parents exactly what their child is doing in reading and what they still need to work on.  Very informative for the parent and for me as I choose what level of books we need to be moving towards.  I use Marie Clay's reading record form and keep these in a separate notebook, one per grade since adding a page for each student per week fills the notebook quite quickly.

I have these forms for keeping your running records data organized.  One form is to help you with classroom data and one form is for keeping individual data organized.  They can help you to see the progression of your class and each student.  Hope they help you and they are FREE!

This is what works for me this year to stay organized and informed on all my students.  I have used different systems over the years, but am liking this one this year.  Some people like to use Post It notes to keep their records.  But that doesn't work so well for me.  I either have to recopy onto the paper what I wrote on the note (an extra step I don't have time for) or stick the note on the paper and hope it doesn't get knocked off.  For me with this method, I am afraid I will lose valuable information on the students.  What is your system of record keeping and does it work for you?


  1. (Blue is my favorite color too.) Your system looks great! I love Marie Clay and her running records. What an easy and informative assessment to use. Priceless!

    ❀ Tammy
    Forever in First

  2. LOVE THIS! That color blue is a fave of mine, as well. You are SO ORGANIZED. Jealous right now! I wish I had 1% of this organization. Great ideas! Thanks so much for sharing.


    A Year of Many Firsts

  3. This is great! I have something similar for my guided reading groups:) its always good to have everything at your fingertips especially when it comes to communicating it with parents.

  4. Wow, definitely an inspiration to me, especially since moving to Kindergarten. Thanks!

    The Daily Alphabet

  5. I used to keep paper records on my students' progress in reading and writing, but this year I started using Confer, an app on my iPhone (can also be used on iPod Touch or iPad). It's been so useful to me. I can pull strategy groups in a snap thanks to this app and I can't say enough about it! Here's my post where I talk about it a bit more and link to the site:

  6. Thank you Tammy-Marie Clay's running records are so helpful!

  7. Lyndsey- thank you! I have so many students that organization is a must!

  8. Thank you Tammy SF and Angela! Records do help with parent communication. :)

  9. That app sounds great Angela! I will come to your blog and check it out! Thank you!

  10. Hello Lori,
    Thanks for commenting on my tongs activity. It was really fun and the kids enjoyed it. I hope to actually get it back out this week (it was actually a couple weeks ago we did it) and see if they are still as interested!
    Lori @ Cachey Mama’s Classroom

  11. Hi,

    I have just awarded you the Lovely Blogger award. Stop by to grab a copy of the award

  12. Thank you so much Literacy Math Ideas! How nice of you to do that!

  13. I LOVE this post!! I am a huge anecdotal record keeping fan and love seeing how others keep track of their info. Thanks for sharing!

  14. Thank you Bobbie! I would love to see your anecdotal record keeping too!

  15. LORI!!!!!!!!!! Thanks so much for adding this post to the round-up of all things organizational! I know that this is simply awesome and every additional person who comes to this post will be appreciative. I hope some new readers hop over as a result of your linking it up!

    Debbie Clement

  16. It's so good which could serve as a guide for me to keep students records.



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